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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterFuel-Helicopters New or Limited ActivityOther › Great new helicopter, by John Benario
02-20-2007 05:44 PM  14 years ago
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John Benario

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Great new helicopter, by John Benario
New helicopter "Raptergy"

By John Benario

A number of years ago in my articles in RCM I described what I thought would be the ideal helicopter.

A few of the items I mentioned were an underslung flybar type head with the mixing levers on the blade grips (X-Cell,Predator, Synergy), a double main gear tail drive arrangement (Hirobo, Raptor 90) a simple and bulletproof shaft drive tail design (Raptor 90) and a push-pull control system with 180 degree bellcranks that match existing servo arms (Vigor, Predator).

Also, over the years a friend and I have continually commented that the Raptor 60/90 would be a great helicopter to have if it had an X-Cell type head (we both prefer the feel of the X-Cell type head) since it is bulletproof to build, parts are cheap, and it is so durable you can almost run over it with a truck without hurting it. Unfortunately, the modifications necessary to fit an existing 10 mm rotorhead to the 12 mm Raptor shaft were not practical. Additionally, until recently it was considered "heavy," which dampened my enthusiasm.

With the introduction of the 12 mm rotor shaft Synergy, which has a great flying head, the conversion has become simple.

The Synergy is a great flying helicopter, but does not meet the simple to build and cheap and easily available parts qualities that the Raptor has. Additionally, it has a crown gear drive arrangement.

The Raptor is a very durable helicopter with the positive features described above, but the stock rotorhead has flying qualities that are not what I am looking for in a 3D helicopter.

Recently I decided to put my money where my ideas are, and combined a Raptor 90 with a Synergy head. The only characteristic that this combo does not have that I listed above is a push-pull control system on COllective and elevator, but flight tests have shown that the with 200 oz-in 9351 servos the control feel is identical to CCPM. Remember, the Airtronics 94758 servos that Alan Szabo, Jr. used were 115 oz-in.

The combination is essentially modification free. The Raptor rotor shaft needs to have about 3/16 inch of material removed above the rotorhead hole (Dremel cutoff wheel) and the 4 mm rotorhead bolt hole needs to be bushed to 3 mm with a piece of 4 mm brass tube. This size tube is what comes with 600 mm blades to reduce the blade hole to 3 mm so it is commonly available and indeed most modelers will have one lying around.

The Raptor washout arms need a 0.010 inch shim in addition to the stock 3 mm washer to mate perfectly to the Synergy washout block (which must be used since the Synergy washout drive pins are a different size than the Raptor washout drive pins.) The 91 tooth main gear produces the same head gear ratio as the Synergy. The tail ratio is the same and 113 mm tail blades provide the same tail disc as the Synergy since the tail blade bolt hole spacing is smaller than the Synergy. I am using Century 115 mm tail blades.

To prevent the collective servo from rocking I used a pushrod support bolted to the sideframe. This was the only control system improvement I have incorporated.

The helicopter has proven to be a dream to fly. The flight qualities are everything the Synergy has to offer, but the control inputs are much truer, which proves that even with the many interaction removing adjustments the 14MZ has to offer, the control inputs are still not completely true in a CCPM setup. The tick-tock ability is easily as crisp as the CCPM Synergy. The combination is LIGHTER than the Synergy, which disproves the commonly held belief the Raptor is "heavy." I was surprised the weight is less, but the Synergy canopy is very heavy and the Synergy tail boom is a thick gauge tube, both areas where the Raptor has a large weight advantage.

I have been doing some engine experimenting with this helicopter, and an engine change in the Raptor can be accomplished in 5 minutes vs. a number of hours with the Synergy or my previous Predators. The Raptor metal fan and clutch have less than 0.001 inch runout, so an engine change involves simply unscrewing the fan off one engine and screwing it on the new engine which I can do at the field since no dial indicator is required for either the fan or clutch.

The Raptor has a long history of zero issues and parts are cheap and available almost everywhere. The Synergy head is durable and flies great and has not had any issues. The combination is unbeatable. There is no cost savings, but there is no cost penalty. The combination is no more expensive than a Raptor 90 SE or a Synergy. My goal was not necessarily to save money, but to produce a helicopter that flies great, has zero quality issues to worry with, and is charge and fly. The helicopter cost is actually a small portion of the total in-the-air cost, so money was not my concern. With most of us who fly 90 size helicopters, the cost is secondary to the time and maintenance requirements that intrude on our limited hobby time. This combination builds in a day with no modifications, quality concerns, requires seemingly no maintenance to keep going, and relieves one of the worry of parts availability or quality.

The above is the positive. There is only one negative I have come across. The aluminum tail boom clamp that comes with the 90 SE kit is not satisfactory. One of the pieces is too thin and rather than clamping simply bends. I made a new piece, but for those not inclined to make a piece the Quick UK part is a good replacement.

That is it. The only "improvement" I had to make.

For now I intend to fly this helicopter as my primary model. After years of spending the hours necessary to ensure my models were as perfect as possible this situation of not having to spend any time on the model may be addictive.

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02-20-2007 06:00 PM  14 years ago
reddragon

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Brooklyn, N.Y.

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ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL JOHN!
YOU'RE THE MAN OF THE HOUR!
Wayne - Fly it like you stole it! You're in good hands with Runryder!
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02-20-2007 06:02 PM  14 years ago
The man

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at home

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Wouldn't an underslung flybar makes the rotor disk taller and further away from tail boom and the mass of the heli.
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02-20-2007 06:07 PM  14 years ago
cdrking

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Seattle

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John,

Very interesting. You hit on a very important point for many of us, and that is time. I don't have much of it lately.

Why did you chose not to take off the aluminum side plates? Wouldn't that be a huge weight saving measure?

I also really like the way the Synergy head flys, amazing really.

Excellent work.

Thanks for sharing it.

Jeff
To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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02-20-2007 07:07 PM  14 years ago
daren

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Good idea!

I put a miniature aircraft tempest 3D head on my lightened vmax controlled by airtronics servos on 6volt, I was hoping for the flight performance of the latest generation helis!

I ended up with a vmax that didn't do the raptor nod in tic tocs and didn't bend the flybar cutting the grass,

We all have our own opinions of the raptor!

Mine are;
its nearly 7 years old, the c of g is to low and the airframe even with all the unimportant parts removed to save weight to the extent of making the holes in the carbon frames bigger is to heavy!

You can put wings on a reliant but it still won't fly like a bird
Daren
Using the ground to reverse engineer
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02-20-2007 07:26 PM  14 years ago
Droid

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You can put wings on a reliant but it still won't fly like a bird
It would have done had the main booster tank released!!

Great post John, my N9 was replaced by a Vmax with all the QUK stuff bolted on and i had heard of guys running the synergy head, maybe a project for the future.
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02-20-2007 07:42 PM  14 years ago
Mark C

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Houston, TX - USA

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Really cool John! Although I saw a V-Max posted some time ago with a Synergy head.

I have come to believe everything you stated - The flight characteristics of the Synergy a unequaled yet it uses a rather expensive set of gears which have about put me at wits end. And the Raptor is damn easy to work on and easy on the checkbook. COMPLETE TT assy comes assembled for about $35!

It would be awesome if someone like Kasama would pick up on this and offer a "Synergy Like" head upgrade for the R90.

I will certainly be watching this thread. Should I happen to crack up my Raptor head-first and my Synergy skids-first then I will do the same!

Mark C.
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02-20-2007 07:43 PM  14 years ago
ESWLFSE

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How much is the Synergy head?
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02-20-2007 07:52 PM  14 years ago
Mark C

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BTW how did you deal with the differences in link ball sizes?

Thanks,
Mark C.

Oh... and you could have called it a "Synaptor" ...naaaaa nebbrmind.
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02-20-2007 07:55 PM  14 years ago
PaulJC

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BTW how did you deal with the differences in link ball sizes?
Use TT balls i imagine
Re-entering the atmosphere...
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02-20-2007 07:58 PM  14 years ago
Droid

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The Head to flybar cradle linkages look to have the original N9 balls and links, the washout arm end down looks TT.
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02-20-2007 07:58 PM  14 years ago
TMoore

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Cookeville, TN

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WOW, is that the new Aurora?

TM
Part 107.
The only ZERO flight hour certificate in the world.
It's like getting a driver's license without the driver's test.
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02-20-2007 08:02 PM  14 years ago
Droid

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LOL Synaptor, Raptergy whatever but not an Aurora, they dont exist in the real world yet!!
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02-20-2007 08:04 PM  14 years ago
DS 8717

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This is what TT should have been doing instead of dicking around with new decal sets, and leaving parts out of the kit.YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE..IF YOU LIVE IT RIGHT THATS ALL YOU NEED
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02-20-2007 08:05 PM  14 years ago
MJWS

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Very Nice.
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02-20-2007 08:12 PM  14 years ago
Droid

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Remember the Head is already part TT with the extra 8x4x3 bearings installed on the seesaw pivot!
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02-20-2007 09:23 PM  14 years ago
TMoore

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Cookeville, TN

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It is nice John, I was being a little TIC with the Aurora comment.

TM
Part 107.
The only ZERO flight hour certificate in the world.
It's like getting a driver's license without the driver's test.
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02-20-2007 09:33 PM  14 years ago
sluggo

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Kitchener Ont

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Cool John nice to finally see pic's of it.

Chris
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02-20-2007 09:36 PM  14 years ago
ESWLFSE

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Liberty Hill, TX

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LOL Synaptor, Raptergy whatever
LOVE Synaptor!
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02-20-2007 09:39 PM  14 years ago
Droid

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Deep down in the Southwest- UK

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N9 T block assembly is £79, blade grips about £11 a piece £6 feathering shaft. I dare say the whole assembly is no more than a QUK head.
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